Douglas County will move down to the moderate risk level for COVID-19 Friday, with some easing of restrictions on local businesses.
But the Douglas County Board of Commissioners signed a letter Tuesday to Gov. Kate Brown voicing solidarity with the 15 counties that are about to be bumped up to extreme risk, creating more restrictions for businesses in those counties.
The governor announced the new restrictions Tuesday, citing an increase in cases and hospitalizations statewide.
The commissioners joined a coalition of 76 other county commissioners, judges and the president of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, who asked the governor to reconsider her plans.
The letter acknowledged the problem of rising hospitalizations but also said it’s also important to keep restaurants open across the state.
“The virus continues to take a grave toll on our local economies with restaurants representing one of the key cornerstones fueling connectivity, hope, and mental health for our residents. These are the places we break bread, share inspiration, and encourage one another and the COVID crisis has stripped us of these life essentials,” the letter said.
The Douglas County commissioners said they also disagree with the governor’s decision to announce new risk level assessments weekly rather than every other week.
“The change would create even more uncertainty and employment woes for our already struggling businesses and their employees,” the commissioners said in a written statement Wednesday.
The Tuesday letter said the time has come to allow communities to move forward.
“Our people understand the risks associated with COVID and our businesses have proven their ability to adhere to the highest expectations in safety, sanitation, and air quality. It is no coincidence Oregon has not seen one instance of a super spreader event tied to our hospitality industry,” the letter said.
The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 11 new cases Wednesday.
Eleven county residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, seven locally and four out of the area.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 888 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths Wednesday.
To date, 40.2% of Oregonians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 27.2% have been fully vaccinated.
Oregon has now administered a total of 1,543,640 first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 1,257,015 first and second doses of Moderna and 93,001 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
In Douglas County, 29.3% of residents have received at least one dose and a total of 55,950 doses have been given to 32,858 people. To date, 25,351 people have been fully vaccinated, having received either one dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
It was another quiet week for Douglas County in the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly outbreak list published Wednesday.
No Douglas County nursing homes were listed with active outbreaks.
Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Composites had three new cases bringing its total to 13. That workplace outbreak began April 13, with the most recent case reported April 16.
Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Plywood had no new cases in its outbreak, leaving its total at 17. That outbreak began March 11, with the most recent case reported on April 7.
Costco had no new cases this week in its nine case outbreak. That outbreak began April 6, with the most recent case reported on April 11.
There were no new school outbreaks in the weekly report. However, data was collected only through Sunday. On Wednesday, Roseburg Public Schools announced a positive COVID-19 case at Eastwood Elementary School.
Aviva Health will hold a vaccination event in Drain on Thursday.
The event will run from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Thursday at the Drain Civic Center, 205 West “A” Avenue.
The event is open to anyone 16 or older, and walk-ins are welcome.
The Douglas Public Health Network announced it will begin a new #itsyourturn social media and advertising campaign this week encouraging everyone 16 and older to get vaccinated.
“Everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and we want people to know they are eligible and that we have vaccine available. Having the majority of our residents vaccinated is the surest road to getting back the sense of normalcy and freedom that we all miss and want,” Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said in a press release.
To get vaccinated, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call your primary health care provider, ask for a referral, contact your pharmacy or sign up for one of the vaccination clinics offered through the health network, Douglas County, Aviva Health or the rural clinics run by the Douglas County Tiger Team.
More information is also available at the Douglas County COVID-19 Hotline at 541-464-6550. Or seniors can call Douglas County Senior Services at 541-440-3677.
Coastal residents can call the Lower Umpqua Hospital District COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 541-271-2175.
Members of the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians can call 541-672-9405 or log onto https://www.cowcreek-nsn.gov/public-health/.
Veterans can contact the Roseburg VA Medical Center at 541-440-1000 or log onto https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/.